|Student Blog|7 tips to get over homesickness for international students
7 tips to get over homesickness for international students
International students are everywhere around the world including myself, and we learn so many things while we are apart from our families and friends. Everything is new, dynamic and fresh for the first certain amount of time, and one day you find yourself missing home so much. Missing your family is a sign that your mind and spirit are healthy, but once it starts to drag down your emotions, you just can't help but becoming more depressed and gloomy. To help you whenever you are in this stage, I want to share my tips with you to get over homesick and make you go back to an energetic life to fully enjoy your limited time in a foreign country.
1. Have a good time with friends from your country
It is awesome to communicate in a foreign language with international friends and learn cultures by learning languages, so you don't want to be lazy to practice it. However, your tongue always remembers your mother language and you feel a lot more comfortable when speak in it. If you feel lonely or gloomy in foreign countries, speaking with your own language with friends from your country will empty your heavy feelings. Even though people from all around the world share the same emotions and feelings, and making foreign friends is cool, there are some things too complicated to talk in other languages or too different to be understood by friends from other countries. After school or work, have a cup of coffee or delicious food with people from your country and share your emotions or experiences, which they also might have, to be each other's exit from homesick.
2. Food has stronger power than you think
What's your favorite food? Probably your grandma's or your mom's cuisine? Or your dad's? There are always heaps of great international restaurants wherever you go, but usually the food from where you were raised is the best for you. In my case, I didn't know how to cook Korean food at all and I barely cooked in my whole life, but after a few months missing Korean food so much in Australia, one day I couldn't help but calling my mom for asking her recipe when I woke up in hunger of tasting my country. Having your favorite meal from your country for your dinner on weekends or stressful days will make you feel at home.
3. Skype will make the distance between you and family shorter
Due to the progress of technology, you can contact anywhere on earth with internet. As we are texting and video calling all the time, it is hard to imagine how our lives would be if it was 20 years ago. There was no Skype to see our beloved families and friends, and moreover it was expensive to call overseas, so it was not easy to contact them at all. Considering what we are having now, it is unnecessary to say that we are super lucky to born in the 21st century when everything is possible with internet. Skype more often with people you wish to see and share your daily life, and it will help you make feel you are right next to them from thousands of miles away.
4. Let amazing things that happen around you steal your heart instead of sickness stealing it
To get over being homesick, you should know how lucky you are to be in a foreign country to see or experience wonderful and cool things while your friends back in your country can't. When you see something amazing, such as beautiful exotic beaches, people with different ideas to share, interesting places that you've never been to, or even just an awesome sunset, let your mind and heart be fascinated to them so that you can hardly remember that you ever missed your country.
5. Plan your day busy to reduce the time missing home
Keeping yourself busy is another solution for homesickness. Wake up early in the morning, start your day with mixing into busy people going to school or work, do your best at your tasks or study, meet new people during the day and communicate actively with your colleagues and friends, have your own little time to relax from busy day at night such as exercise or hot bath, and plan your weekends something special. You can use online search to find out what events are going on near your place, or you could go to a bar or a coffee shop to enjoy the city life. Also, it will be fun and helpful for you to plan weekly or monthly to-do-lists and check out the boxes after doing them one by one.
6. Don't underestimate human's best power, "adaptation"
When your emotions occurred by missing home are too heavy to control, let down everything on your mind and step back to look at your situation wisely. Human are able to do heaps of great things, but especially we are natural-born professionals in adaption. If you feel your gloomy feelings will last forever, please don't let yourself believe such nonsense. You should acknowledge the fact that it won't last as long as you expect. It will be hard to think straight when you are swept by the strong negative feelings, but you have to remember you are totally okay now even though you've already experienced several hard times in your life. Those times made who you are now, which is better than before.
7. Recall your bouncing heart when you first step on where you are
What was your first idea when you stepped on a foreign country where you are stepping on now? Your heart was beating fast for amazing unpredictable experiences and people waiting for you. Not to blame yourself, but as time passes, people tend to easily forget about those wonderful emotions and ideas. It is important to go back to those times and remember what your feelings and thoughts were like to keep you appreciated for everything around- you. Also, you have to realize the time for your staying in the foreign country is running and there will be the day when you have to be on a plane going back to your country. Seize every moment while time and places are allowed to you.
Ji-yeon Choi has been given scholarships for good grades in her major Education which shows her sincerity. She is not only good at studying but also loves to communicate with people and challenge herself to try new things such as modeling, scuba diving and ballet. Earlier this year she failed an entrance exam. However, everything happens for a reason and while looking for other opportunities, she found herself winning the Ultimate Gap Year Queensland Australia. Now her new adventure of being the honourary Queenaland International Student Ambassador has begun.